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How To Become A Shoe Designer

(this will be ongoing until the end of it says “finished”) Part 1: I remember when I decided that I wanted to become a shoe designer and have a shoe brand that either had my name or a name that I created associated with it. I remember thinking, ‘how the heck am I going to get there?’ All I had known prior to that, was learning how to start a company while at University (as part of the degree) and a bit of time in the retail shoe

March 7, 2011

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Giovanni Gambini Interview – The Middle Men Of The Shoe Industry

One thing (or person for that matter) that you may not ever think about is how the shoes get from factory A in Italy or factory B in China and make it to a store like Selfridges in the UK or Nordstrom in the States. You might assume that buyers speak several languages, or that factories have english-speaking representatives. And while this might be the case sometimes, in reality there are people like Giovanni Gambini who are connecting the dots…

How To Become A Shoe Designer Part 5: Creating Your Brand/Business Model

It’s been awhile since I have kept up with my “How to become a shoe designer” series. This is mainly due to the fact that as I was writing it previously I had come to the point in which I could not go anymore as I had not lived/accomplished the next stages of the process. But alas, 2 years later, I have and am back to write a few most posts on the subject. Part 5: Creating Your Brand As I learned at university, branding is…

My Story — The 5 Year Plan…..The First Two

  My father was an entrepreneur and a complete salesman. He could talk to anyone at any time about anything. But he didn’t believe in school, not the brick and mortar ones but rather the school of life and the ideology of ‘Just go out and do it’…….“Just go make it happen Justin, don’t make excuses,” he would often tell me. He dropped out of high school at 17, waited tables and bartended for 15 years and then decided to have a stab at a…

Shoe Pricing – From Cost of Production to Retail Price

The hardest thing about starting a shoe line, or really just starting your business plan to a shoe line, is coming up with the price that you want to sell your shoes at, retail value. There are so many factors that will dictate what that final price will be, factors that you might never have thought about before, like the fact that retailers will mark up a shoe’s wholesale price 2-3 times over (e.g. wholesale price = $100, retail price…

My Recommended Shoe Cobbler

Part of being a good shoe brand is offering your customers a place in which they can confidently take their shoes to once they start to need new parts put on, or simply want to make some adjustments to them, such as putting on toe taps. Most brands in England offer this refurbishment service by sending the shoes back to their factory. This is clearly the best option that one can do, however, it is also the most expensive and takes the longest…

March 4, 2010

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The Best Shoe Store In America

Its rare these days that you find a store that sells strictly men’s shoes, especially one that revolves mostly around dressier shoes. This is the case, however, for Leffot in Manhattan, NY. (On the website it claims to also carry women’s shoes, as of 2009, yet I have never seen any on the website’s blog nor when I went in?) Having opened in May of 2008, Mr. Steven Taffel, the owner, wanted to create a store that offered a…

London Super Trunk Show — Brand Showcase — The Sponsors

Like most events, sponsors/partners are involved to help make the whole thing happen. To these partners we are eternally grateful for and therefore wish to shed some light on who they are in the hopes that while many of you will come to see shoes, that you also check out the partners and see what they have available. So here goes: Our Main Partner – Saphir For those that do not already know, Saphir is one of the leading premium shoe care…

Spring Time = Boat Shoes

Every year in the States, without fail, you see the boat shoes come out just as sure as the sun does. You would think that the wearing of boat shoes would be an American pastime considering the amount of men that break them out each year. And why wouldn’t they? The classic boat shoe serves many purposes. Not only are they used for boating activities but they have also been adopted into society as a fun and casual shoe to wear in the sun,…

Shoe Design 101

Let me start by saying that I do not have any formal schooling in design or drawing. The only skills that I have acquired were from when I was 5 years old and used to draw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Wolverine. Up until the beginning of this year, those were the last things that I drew. That being, ANYONE can become a designer. In reality, I have a feeling that many “designers” have no artistic skills whatsoever but they are,…